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Blade Servers Cut Costs

Blade servers promise to reduce costs through centralized management and flexible resource allocation, but just as important to solution providers, it also reduces the barrier to upgrades. A modular architecture requires less planning to scale up, reducing the time spent on an upgrade/overhaul job. Solution providers with customers using blade architecture can turn over more upgrade and maintenance business in a year than with traditional technologies, allowing them to scale out their services with the same workforce. Since computing resources are under tighter control with built-in reporting, upgrades are easier to justify.

Despite the benefits to solution providers and customers, the upfront migration costs form a barrier to adoption. However, the barrier is softer for customers about to undergo a platform upgrade, such as to a much newer processor, or across multiple back-end servers or even desktops. Startups, which lack legacy infrastructure and therefore have no migration cost, are also another good prospect. Companies that are feeling the costs of managing many disparate IT systems after numerous business acquisitions also may be willing to simplify their infrastructure. Outside those opportunities, solution providers could bring blade offerings into the fold of a standard data center a few modules at a time as servers are technically decommissioned or fiscally depreciated.

Blade servers reduce the cost of administration over traditional infrastructure through consolidation, IT homogenization, flexibility of resource allocation, and ease of upgradability. Consolidation allows virus scans, backups, software-license tracking, troubleshooting and patch management to be performed in one location, minimizing the impact on network bandwidth and manpower use, while optimizing the timeliness of backups and updates.

IT homogenization brings an infrastructure under a common architecture and set of management tools, simplifying the view of network assets. That reduces the training and familiarity required to manage multiple systems across a business.

Flexible resource allocation means blades can be added or removed from a workload as needed. The architecture can respond to seasonal changes in business practices without companies having to overpurchase and maintain equipment to handle intermittent peak demands.

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